The Langie story
'The Langie' began in Glasgow in 1957 as an evening class at the climbing wall within Langside College with paid climbing instructors. The purpose of the class was to act as a feeder group for established climbing clubs in Glasgow and
to promote the safe and competent introduction of people to mountaineering;
to provide training in all aspects of mountaineering including safety, map and compass work, and other matters connected to the safe use of mountain areas and high tops at home and abroad;
to assist in training of instructors, leaders and guides.
The classes attracted people from across Glasgow as well as students at the college. Camphill Bowling Club was nearby, and with a very cheap bar (then as now!) was a convenient and popular place for members to meet.
By the late 1980's a committed group of regular climbers and walkers had formed. When the night classes were stopped, they formally constituted themselves as Langside Mountaineering Club and continued to meet at the Bowling Club. Our highland base was the Alt na Feidh, an 'out building' at the top of Glen Coe. There were also camping and bothy meets across the highlands all year round. All that was needed was a few bags of coal (carried in) and a few bottles of sherry (strong but not too strong, and cheap) and the craic would flow.
We still have camping meets from Easter to September, with a break in July and August when many members are on holiday. In the winter we've gone a bit soft, and now enjoy the comfort of hostels and bunkhouses! This is mainly because too many people want to come on meets for us to be able to use the bothies which are limited in size. However small groups of members do organise ad hoc trips to bothies and we still support the Mountain Bothies Association through our fundraising raffle at the annual dinner dance.
For an insight into how things used to be in the Langie, take a look at the cine footage below, from 1959.